When to replace a concrete driveway or patio

Concrete driveway before

Written by Scott Weaver

Scott is the owner of SOLIDForm Decorative concrete with over 17 years experience in general construction and 7 years specializing in concrete installation & replacement and decorative concrete.

February 23, 2021

It’s a question we get often: How do I know when to replace my concrete driveway or concrete patio? Is it time to replace my driveway?

There are a lot of factors to consider before knowing for sure, but generally if your concrete driveway is approaching 25-30 years old or you are driving over deep, wide cracks, potholes, or large surface chips, it might be time to look into replacement.

Let’s take a look.

How OLD is your driveway?

The age of your concrete is just one factor in how long it can last, but it’s a pretty major one. If installed properly, your concrete driveway or concrete patio should last 25 to 30 years.

Thickness, additives, weather when poured, type of base, reinforcement, finishing techniques, maintenance, and the overall weather patterns in your specific location are all factors that will effect the life of your concrete driveway or patio.

Depending on all these factors and others, you may start to see larg, visible, and sometimes wide and deep cracks. You may also see deep brown areas with lots of tiny small cracks spidering out, possibly with some surface chipping or large potholes.

As the driveway continues to get worse you can see unlevel surfaces where part of the slab has sunk or is pulling away or both. These are all tell-tale signs that your concrete driveway or concrete patio is ready for replacement and nearing the end of its useful life expectancy.

Proper Maintenance

Proper maintenance for your concrete driveway or patio is essential in giving it a long life. Wear and tear from vehicles and foot traffic as well as the weather in your region plays a major role in its lifespan.

Concrete is known to do two things: changing colors and cracking – even when poured correctly.

Cracks hopefully happen inside the control joint. But regardless, cracks should be maintained quickly to slow or even stop further damage, regardless of where or how they form.

There are crack filling techniques with different types of fill, such as epoxies, that can be used.

In the Cincinnati area, we get a lot of freeze-thaw cycles that can wreak havoc on concrete driveways and patios. The ground underneath the concrete pad heaves and water that freezes and expands over time can cause wider cracks or even potholes. That’s why at SOLIDForm, we install everything to stop as much water seeping into cracks and underneath the concrete pad as much as possible.

What can you do?

Other maintenance relies mostly on what you don’t do to your concrete pad, such as using the wrong type of salt for snow and ice. Salt can deteriorate the concrete surface and can magnify popes and cracks in the concrete over time.

At the same time, heavy shoveling, plowing, or snow blowing can also chip concrete. The more you use proper de-icing methods and shovel, the longer the concrete and its surface will last.

Our concrete crews can always fill small cracks, but the same can’t be said once they widen and deepen. For this reason, it’s important you keep up on maintenance. Otherwise, you could face the expense of replacing your entire concrete driveway or concrete patio. So save yourself the grief of an unexpected repair by taking care of your concrete driveway.

While small cracks potholes can be filled, the same can’t be said once they become larger and aged. Once cracks and potholes reach this point, you’ll have little choice but to replace that section or the entire driveway.

SOLIDForm’s concrete driveway crews can help you take care of your newly installed or older concrete surface so it lasts for years to come. If you need to install, maintain, or replace a concrete driveway or patio in Loveland, Montgomery, Maineville, Lebanon, Mason, West Chester, or Liberty Township Ohio.

Contact us today with any additional questions you may have. To request a quote for a new concrete driveway or a new concrete patio call SOLIDForm Decorative Concrete for both broom finish or stamped concrete flatwork. Call, text, or mail us at 513-781-2491 or solidformltd@gmail.com.

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